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Goaltenders Jean Sebastien-Giguere and Martin Brodeur led their teams to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals. A rematch might not be out of the question if both goaltenders keep up their recent play.
In a matchup of early season division leaders, Giguere and the Anaheim Ducks face Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils for only the second time since meeting for the championship.
Brodeur and Giguere played to a 3-3 tie when the Devils and Ducks last met on Nov. 26, 2003. That's the only game these clubs have played since Brodeur shut out Anaheim for the third time in the Cup finals, making 24 saves in New Jersey's 3-0 win in Game 7.
Giguere, meanwhile, became the fifth player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for a non-Stanley Cup winning team, going 15-6 with a 1.62 goals-against average and five shutouts.
The nine-year veteran has been fairly impressive this season while taking back the No. 1 goalie job from Ilya Bryzgalov. Giguere is 5-1-1 with two shutouts and a 2.14 GAA in his last eight appearances.
While his play has helped Anaheim (15-2-6) to the top of the Pacific Division with a Western Conference-leading 36 points, Brodeur has stepped up his game lately to lift the Devils (12-7-1) into a tie with the New York Rangers atop the Atlantic Division.
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner has not given up more than three goals in eight straight starts, posting a 1.84 GAA and losing only twice in that stretch.
Brodeur looks to help New Jersey regain momentum after losing 3-1 at Phoenix on Wednesday. The Devils, who had won six of seven, were outshot 27-14.
"This was a weird game, and hard for us to get going," Brodeur said after making 24 saves. "For some reason, we tried to make plays, but turned the puck over. It cost us a couple of times and we just could not recover."
John Madden scored in the second period Wednesday to break his drought of 16 games without a goal, but the Coyotes responded with two goals later in the period.
"We were totally outworked," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "We did not look like a team in sync. In fact, we were all over the place, and it showed on the scoreboard."
The Ducks got a point for the fourth straight game Wednesday, but fell to 2-5 in shootouts this season with a 3-2 loss at Colorado.
Teemu Selanne became the 36th player to record 500 NHL goals when he scored on a power play with 5:06 left in the second period. However, Selanne, Ryan Shannon and Ryan Getzlaf all missed their attempts in the shootout.
"Getting 500 goals is a great achievement, but it would have been almost a crime to win this game," said Selanne, who has four goals and eight assists during his six-game points streak. "The first 30 minutes was the worst hockey I have ever seen in eight years here."
The Ducks fell behind by two goals in the first period, when they were outshot 16-2. Giguere kept Anaheim in the game by making 41 saves, one day after recording his third shutout of the season and 24th of his career.
Special teams might make the difference as both teams look to rebound.
The Ducks have converted at least one power play in each of their last six games, a stretch in which they are 10-for-36 (27.8 percent) with the man advantage. The Devils have killed off all 10 of their short-handed situations over their previous four games, but have not scored in any of their last 10 power plays.
Anaheim has killed off all seven of its opponents' power plays in its last two games.
The Ducks have won only once in the last 11 regular-season meetings with the Devils.
|Nov 24 '06||NJD 2 at ANA 4||T. Marchant|
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